You may have hoped that a smaller body would attract the perfect romantic partner, give you access to better career opportunities or simply allow you to be treated with basic dignity and respect.
These are powerful motivators (whether they’re achievable and sustainable or not) and even if you’ve decided to walk away from dieting and diet culture, it’s hard to simply ignore the messaging around you from the media and a society that continues to praise thinness and stigmatize fatness. It’s unfair and unreasonable to expect that you wouldn’t feel conflicted about breaking up with diet culture.
Leaving any toxic relationship means you will experience both relief AND grief. You may grieve the loss of the time and energy you invested in counting calories and resisting your internal hunger and fullness cues. You may miss the camaraderie that engaging in diet talk with others provided. You must also let go of and mourn the hope that weight loss could have delivered on even one of its many seductive promises to make your life better.
In the space created by these losses, however, you will recapture your precious resources of time and energy and gain the opportunity to engage in more meaningful relationships and experiences. Free from the mental and physical stress of dieting, your body will settle into its natural weight and the scale will no longer have the power to influence whether you have a good or bad day. You will also gain confidence knowing that you can trust your body to guide your eating and movement so that you are well nourished physically, mentally and spiritually .
Walking away from diet culture isn’t easy, but if you know that you’d be better off reclaiming your time, energy, health and wellbeing, then it’s worth considering. If it’s the right decision for you, you won’t just know it, you will feel it.